We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

What I remember most fondly about the heyday of zines (pre-internet) was the great diversity of thought coupled with a lack of hatred.  I remember opening my first copy of FF5 and being agog at all the weird and freaky stuff.  I was immediately in love.  I ran an underground Christian music and culture zine and often took strong positions on moral subjects. People would respond, many disagreeing most strongly, but the discussions were just that, discussions.  Through the medium of print and the post, we debated and argued everything from abortion to sexuality to that new show, The Simpsons.  And while the discussions raged, they never became mean or hurtful.  Gay vegetarian zines would promote my Christian zine, I shared 'links' to deathcore metal zines, etc, etc. 

Times have changed and people seem to have devolved to hot-headed name calling and strident posturing (not me, of course, I'm a saint).  We used to have a maxim:  "I may disagree with what you say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it".  Hopefully that sentiment will re-emerge someday.

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Comment by Durand J. Compton on September 23, 2011 at 11:21am
True enough, but time always puts a patina on our memories.  There was acrimony, but there was communication.  That was the most important part of the whole scene, I believe. 
Comment by James N. Dawson on September 23, 2011 at 11:09am

Actually I remember quite a bit of acrimony back in the 80's & 90's diatrabes, rants, and "debates", but yes, people were at least talking to each other, and it was more that the usual "fuck you asshole!" that it seems to degenerate into today.  I think, unfortunately, most of the more intelligent and interesting social/political/religious/philosophical discussions have fled to the Internet.  That's why I go to the EWU library and use their excellent printing system to print them out and read on paper.

I'm quite interested in people who are "multi-marginal".  I remember a zine I got back in, I guess, about the late 90's called Strike Anywhere, by a Punk Catholic.  I can't remember his name at the moment.  Again, I think there's a certain amount of work in all this heavy discussion, and a lot of people burn out quickly, or have little patience for it to begin with.  As a libertarian, I probably have a lot more taste for it that the average zinester, but even I get tired of it now and then.  Of course, I always come back for more.

I think when two or more "ideological adverseries" engage in a dialogue for any length of time, it seems there comes a point when they're all "talked out". But maybe there's still value in trying again from time to time.

Yes, I miss what certainly seems like the greater ideological/philosophical diversity and vibrancy of zinedom past, but I'm not interested in a happy-sappy, starry-eyed or contrived diversity.  It's got to be authentic.

Like you, I hope to carve out some time to sift through my old FS5's & other zines.  I remember in the back of my mind many a zine, zinester or reviewer that sound very interesting indeed.  Again, to get the rewards, it takes some work.  There's no instant gratification of "Quick and Easy!" about it. 



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